Is Church Relevant To You As Youth?

64235555Different people deal with God and the church differently.  The challenge at times for you as teenagers is to find ways that God can be relevant in your lives.

I get it.  The common things I hear in my daily interactions with teenagers about church usually follows along the lines of this:

Church is boring.  Predictable. Routine.  Nothing new.  Nothing fun.

Some teens find Christianity boring.  The see no connection to any of the things they care about.  They believe the lie that Christianity is not relevant to their lives.  It’s about something two millenniums ago.   They consider the Christian life a matter of avoiding any interesting behavior and living in as bland and predictable a way as possible.  Rules. Rules. Rules. But, as those of us who have given our lives over to Christ can attest, it doesn’t have to be like that at all.

Let’s start with something simple.  What is the church?

 So, the church is YOU.  The church is ME.  The church is US.

Can we be a Christian and not go to church?  Sure, it’s possible.  We believe that a person has an individual relationship with Christ.  You don’t need to attend a church service to be a Christian.  But if you, as a Christian, didn’t attend church then I would have to inquire why.  Something’s wrong.  Sure, the church has it’s share of hypocrites and fallible people, and some can possibly make you mad sometimes.  And yes, sometimes a service seem boring.  But let me be very clear here…

It’s not all about you.

Ouch.  It’s not all about you.  When you become a believer, you become part of the believing community.  You have a purpose, along with other Christians, to serve and worship God.

22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)

That my friends, is what it’s all about.  Whenever you come to church, whenever you sit down to read your Bible or pray, it’s about “drawing near to God”.  God once criticized the fakers by saying in Isaiah 29:13 that some people come near to God with talk, but their hearts are far from him.

13The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t do religious things to show how religious you are.   But don’t stop doing basic things like prayer and attending church just because they get boring sometimes.   Take a look at Hebrews 10:23:
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)
This verse reminds us to hold to our hope, because He is faithful.  In the Bible, hope is like faith, but it leans into the future.  Our hope is that we are headed for an incredible future with Jesus!  Don’t allow anyone or anything steer it off course.  We can hold onto this hope because God is faithful.  It has nothing to do with our own ability to do religious things.  Let’s read verses 24 and 25:
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
So why should you go to church, even if it’s boring sometimes?  To spur others on, to encourage them.  The “Day approaching” is the Day of God’s judgement, the day of Christ’s return.  The verse was relevant for their time as the world was going downhill. Lapses of morality. False teachers. Tough times for believers.  Do we see any of that around today?  Absolutely.   They expected Christ’s return at any minute and so should we.  As the world gets crazier and crazier, the church should become more and more relevant to our lives.  This is where we can re-center ourselves on the truth of God.  This is where we find encouragement.  This is where we strengthen our hold on our eternal hope.
Still, it gets boring sometimes.  Here are some ideas about what you can do:
  • Remember, it’s not about entertainment. It’s about encouragement, worship, instruction.
  • Listen carefully and creatively for the voice of God.  “What is one thing God might be saying to me in this moment?”
  • Allow God to transform your passions, taking them and re-molding them for his glory.
  • How can God use this moment to transform my passions?
  • How can I help others? “Spur one another on!”
  • Remember: It’s not all about you.  Maybe God has a message for others that you can help deliver.  Maybe you have something to offer during discussion, or maybe you talk with a friend afterwards about applying the lesson.

Remember that the Bible tells us in James 1:22 that we shouldn’t just listen to God’s Word, but do what it says.  How are you going to obey what God has been telling you?